Advanced Yoga Practices
Tantra Lessons

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Lesson T19 - Sex, Love, and Bhakti  (Audio)

From: Yogani
Date: Sat Mar 20, 2004 7:07pm

New Visitors: It is recommended you read from the beginning of this tantra yoga archive, as previous lessons are prerequisite to this one. The first lesson is, "What is tantra yoga?"

Everyone knows that sex is about hormones. There is the old joke that, "Teenagers are all hormones." Maybe that applies to many of us adults too. The more hormonal vitality we have, the greater our sexual status, and self image. When the juices are flowing we feel more alive.

It is all about prana, you know. Prana is vitality, the life force that flows inside us. It is what is behind all those hormones. Through yoga we influence our prana by influencing our body chemistry, and vise versa. We think according to a certain procedure and we become physically and mentally still inside, and inner silence expands. We become empty self-contained awareness. That is meditation. We breathe a certain way and the energies flowing in our body are enlivened in noticeable ways. That is pranayama. We make love a certain way, or engage in certain types of solo stimulation of sexual energy, and our inner experiences are dramatically expanded into vast inner flights of ecstatic euphoria. Then we are both empty and euphoric at the same time. The joining of these two makes divine love - a self-fulfilling flow that needs no object. It just is.

The great kriya yogi, Lahiri Mahasaya, said:

"My worship is of a very strange kind. Holy water is not required. No special utensils are necessary. Even flowers are redundant. In this worship all gods have disappeared, and emptiness has merged with euphoria."

So, ultimately, human spiritual transformation is not about external objects or rituals. It is about our inner processes, our inner awareness (emptiness) and our ecstasy (euphoria). When these two merge, all that is left is divine love flowing out from an endless inner reservoir. It is its own source. It exists for no object, yet serves all. It is its own fulfillment, which is the common good. Divine love is hormones taken to their highest level of functioning in the human being.

But what of ordinary love, the kind most of us feel at some point in our life? The kind we feel in our hearts and in our loins. How do we expand from that to divine love? It is in choosing a higher manifestation of our energy, choosing a higher level of functioning of hormones, and making the journey of transformation using yogic knowledge.

When we become sexually aroused, our hormones are stimulated into high gear. We feel euphoric. We feel attracted. Attracted to what? Something. Someone. This powerful euphoric attraction needs an object. We lose our mind when this happens. The emotions take over. Only the object matters.

"Love knows no reason."

What is this ordinary love? It is an extreme flow of hormones. We are drugged from within. It fills us with devotion for the object of our affection, at least for a time. At least until the hormones settle down. Then what? Then "the honeymoon is over," and we move into a different phase of the process, a less intense one.

The difference between ordinary love and divine love is that the intensity in divine love never stops. The honeymoon never ends. It never goes away. It becomes more, and more, and more. Divine romance is like falling into an endless abyss of love. As we fall, it flows out of us to everyone around us. In divine love we become a channel between the infinite and the world.

Divine love, divine romance, is as much about sex as ordinary human romance is. Divine love is about internal sex, and it never ends. Ordinary love is about external sex, and loses its intensity in time. Ordinary lovers cry and moan in ecstasy for a few minutes or hours. Lovers of the divine cry and moan in ecstasy for decades.

If you read the poems of Rumi and St. John of the Cross (see the links section), you will see that these sages had passionate relationships with the divine. Intensely romantic relationships in terms of their own "ishta," their chosen ideal. As Lahiri Mahasaya points out, even the ideals are eventually overshadowed by the reality of the inner transformation, which is the merging of inner silence with inner ecstasy, a neuro-chemical process occurring inside us.

Ah, the divine romance! We have to put it in some sort of language. We describe it with metaphors, deities, the language of our culture. After all the analysis and all the yoga, when divine love bubbles up there can only be poetry, and maybe not even that.

It's like that in tantric sexual relations also. The hormones are cultivated higher and higher. Our lover is the divine before us, inside us, enveloping us. If we have used the method of bhakti, we know all our desire, all our passion, all our hormones are going for that high purpose in us. Nothing matters but that. Our ordinary love will be morphing to divine love in every minute. Love objects become spiritual objects, and then melt inside us. Our body, our lover, and everyone we see are expressions of God, and that divine lovemaking that dissolves separations. We may seem crazy to ordinary people when we are in this state of divine passion.

Crazy or not, if we are prudent we will keep our love going higher with sitting practices when we are not in tantric sexual relations. This we can do every day. Then the romance never stops. It creeps into our everyday living, flowing out of us as waves of beautiful bliss. Daily practices are important for this. Eventually it becomes self-sustaining. The nervous system wants to rise to this divine state. It asks us to do yoga by calling us quietly from deep inside our heart. As the nervous system opens in yoga it takes over, and there is no stopping. Then we are along for the ride.

So, if you are in love, in lovemaking, or even just contemplating love, keep something in mind. Your love has a great destiny far beyond the attachments and pleasures of the moment. You don't have to go anywhere to find your destiny. You don't have to renounce your family, your career, or anything. You only have to realize that your desire and your passion can be pointed higher.


The intention alone sets things in motion. Can you feel it moving inside you now? A quickening of devotion. A magical expectancy stirring deep inside. Favor that. Favor it as you feel your love flowing. Favor it as you join with your beloved in the bed. Feel it as you use the methods that will cultivate the divine energies higher in your lover and yourself. Feel it as you do your daily sitting practices. Rise high in divine love. You have the means.

The guru is in you.

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Note: For detailed instructions on the methods of tantra in relation to the broad scope of yoga practices and the enlightenment process, see the AYP Tantra book.  For detailed instructions on employing desire and action on our spiritual path, see the AYP Bhakti and Karma Yoga book. Also see AYP Plus.

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